Victor FitzGeorge-Balfour

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Sir Victor FitzGeorge-Balfour
Born (1913-09-15)15 September 1913
Knightsbridge, London
Died 28 December 1994(1994-12-28) (aged 81)
West Chiltington, West Sussex
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1934 - 1974
Rank General
Commands held 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards
First Brigade of Guards
Battles/wars World War II
Malayan Emergency
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross

General Sir Robert George Victor FitzGeorge-Balfour KCB CBE DSO MC (15 September 1913 – 28 December 1994) was a General officer in the British Army.

Early life[edit]

Robert George Victor FitzGeorge-Balfour was born on 15 September 1913 at Knightsbridge, London. He was the son of Robert Shekelton Balfour and Mabel Iris FitzGeorge.[1] Through his mother he was descended from George III of the United Kingdom through the king's grandson Prince George, Duke of Cambridge and his mistress Sarah Fairbrother. In 1922 his name was legally changed to Victor FitzGeorge-Balfour by deed poll.[2] Victor was educated at Eton College and at King's College, Cambridge.[3]

Military career[edit]

On 25 June 1932, FitzGeorge-Balfour was commissioned with the rank of second lieutenant into the Coldstream Guards' Supplementary Reserve of Officers.[4] He was promoted to lieutenant on 25 June 1935.[5] It was gazetted on 30 August 1935 that he had transferred to the regular Coldstream Guards on 1 February 1934 with the rank of second lieutenant.[6] He was once again promoted to lieutenant on 1 February 1937.[7]

He fought in World War II, serving in North Africa, Sicily and North-West Europe as a staff officer with XXX Corps.[3] By March 1941, he was a temporary captain[8] and was promoted to that rank on 1 February 1942.[9] By October 1943, he was a temporary major.[10] In 1944, he served on the general staff of VIII Corps.[11] By October 1945, he was a temporary brigadier.[12] He ended the war as a war substantive lieutenant colonel.[13]

Having reverted to the rank of captain following the end of the war, he was promoted to major on 1 February 1947.[13] In 1948, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency.[11] He was promoted to colonel on 15 September 1954 with seniority from 17 June 1954.[14] The following year, he attended the Imperial Defence College.[15] He was made commander of the First Brigade of Guards in 1958, Deputy Director of Staff Duties in 1960 and Chief of Staff at Southern Command in 1962.[3] He went on to be Director of Military Operations in 1964, Senior Army Instructor at the Imperial Defence College in 1967 and Vice Chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1968.[11] His last appointment was as UK Military Representative to NATO before he retired in 1974.[16]

Later life[edit]

Between 1975 and 1989, FitzGeorge-Balfour was Chairman of the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases.[15]

He died on 28 December 1994 at West Chiltington, West Sussex. He was buried on 4 January 1995 at Findon Crematorium, Worthing, West Sussex.[16]

Honours and decorations[edit]

On 1 April 1941, it was gazetted that FitzGeorge-Balfour was Mentioned in Despatches "for distinguished services in the Middle East during the period August 1939 to November 1940".[8] It was gazetted on 23 March 1944 that he had been Mentioned in Despatches "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Sicily",[17] and on 13 December 1949 that he had been Mentioned in Despatches "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malaya during the period 1 January 1949 to 30 June 1949".[18]

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) on 14 October 1943 "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East".[10] On 11 October 1945, he was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in North-West Europe".[12] On 18 September 1950, he was appointed Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malaya during the period 1 January to 30 June 1950".[19]

He was appointed Colonel Commandant of The Honourable Artillery Company, a Territorial Army unit, on 2 August 1976.[20] His tenure expired on 1 September 1984, when he was succeeded by General Sir Richard Trant.[21] He held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of West Sussex in 1977.[2]

Personal life[edit]

On 4 December 1943, FitzGeorge-Balfour married Mary Diana Christian, daughter of then Rear Admiral, later Admiral, Arthur Christian and Geraldine Diana Monsell, at the Chapel Royal of St. James's Palace.[1][3]

Together they had two children:

  • Diana Mary Christian FitzGeorge-Balfour (born 8 March 1946)
  • Robert Victor FitzGeorge-Balfour (born 5 June 1951) married in 1976 Patricia Anne Christiana Rowntree, had issue.


Notes and sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b C. Arnold McNaughton, The Book of Kings: A Royal Genealogy, in 3 volumes (London, U.K.: Garnstone Press, 1973), volume 2, page 519. Hereinafter cited as The Book of Kings.
  2. ^ a b Robin F. Balfour, "re: Admiral Arthur Christian," e-mail message to Darryl Lundy, 7 April 2004. Hereinafter cited as "re: Admiral Arthur Christian."
  3. ^ a b c d Announcements, The Times, London, U.K., 29 December 1984. Hereinafter cited as The Times.
  4. ^ "No. 33838". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 June 1932. p. 4116. 
  5. ^ "No. 34175". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 June 1935. p. 6194. 
  6. ^ "No. 34194". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 August 1935. p. 5531. 
  7. ^ "No. 34366". The London Gazette. 2 February 1937. p. 712. 
  8. ^ a b "No. 35120". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 March 1941. pp. 1869–1872. 
  9. ^ "No. 35442". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 January 1942. p. 546. 
  10. ^ a b "No. 36209". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 October 1943. pp. 4539–4541. 
  11. ^ a b c
  12. ^ a b "No. 37302". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 October 1945. p. 4989. 
  13. ^ a b "No. 37867". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 January 1947. p. 546. 
  14. ^ "No. 40364". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1954. p. 7370. 
  15. ^ a b "FitzGEORGE-BALFOUR, Gen. Sir (Robert George) Victor". Who Was Who. A & C Black. December 2007. 
  16. ^ a b Richard Glanville-Brown, online <e-mail address>, Richard Glanville-Brown (RR 2, Milton, Ontario, Canada), downloaded 17 August 2005.
  17. ^ "No. 36436". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 March 1944. pp. 1367–1369. 
  18. ^ "No. 38782". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 December 1949. p. 5906. 
  19. ^ "No. 39048". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 October 1950. p. 5292. 
  20. ^ "No. 46978". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 August 1976. p. 10602. 
  21. ^ "No. 49863". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 September 1984. p. 12324. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Desmond Fitzpatrick
Vice Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Succeeded by
Sir Cecil Blacker
Preceded by
Sir David Lee
UK Military Representative to NATO
Succeeded by
Sir Rae McKaig